By Jude Njoku
Lokoja, the Kogi State capital is one of the ten cities selected by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat for its City Resilience Profiling Programme CRPP. The announcement was made last week in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Working through partnerships with stakeholders including international agencies such as United Nations Office for Disaster Risk reduction UNISDR, academic and research institutes, private sector actors, and non-governmental organisations, NGOs, the CRPP will develop a comprehensive and integrated urban planning and management approach for profiling and monitoring the resilience of any city, to all plausible hazards.
A release by the global habitat group explained that the tools and guidelines developed under the Programme will be tested and refined in: Balangoda (Sri Lanka), Barcelona (Spain), Beirut (Lebanon), Dagupan (Philippines), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Lokoja (Nigeria), Portmore (Jamaica), Concepcion/Talcahuano (Chile), Tehran (Iran), and Wellington (New Zealand).
These cities were selected based on the proposals submitted to UN-Habitat against its call for proposals in November 2012, and represent a good balance of geographical and economic distribution, population size, hazard profiles, and commitment to the resilience agenda.
UN-Habitat’s Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos said he welcomed the partnership and is looking forward to achieving “our mutual goals of; reducing loss of lives and assets, protecting development gains, and ensuring continuity of public and private services through any potential crises impacting cities throughout the world”.
The confluence town of Lokoja was described by the UN-agency as a rapidly urbanizing city with a population of over 500,000. The town was ravaged by heavy flooding in 2012.